Food & Drink Magazine

the World's Messiest Marathon

By Chocolateandoranges
So I had a mini baking marathon tonight (and last night).  I need to bring cookies/bars for a baby shower tomorrow as I mentioned yesterday - so I decided to take the 'shotgun' approach and hope at least some of my attempts would turn out okay given that I've only baked a handful of things in my life.  
My first attempt, actually baked last night, was these peanut butter cookies from smitten kitchen:
the world's messiest marathon
The batter tasted amazing, but when I had on hot out of the oven I was underwhelmed.  I tried another today though and it was better.  Nothing amazing but I think I'm willing to bring them tomorrow  I'd say these were probably my second most successful try.
My next two attempts were also smitten kitchen recipes:  these brownies and these oatmeal chocolate chip raisin cookies (minus the booze since this is a baby shower after all). 
I think the brownies were probably the most successful of my attempts, and also the easiest.  I'd make these again for an event.  They were super dense which may or may not be a good thing depending on how you like your brownies, but I thought they were yummy.  My only issue was that they didn't cook through that evenly so the edges were almost hard while the middle was cake-like.
the world's messiest marathon
The oatmeal cookies tasted good but most of them got burnt. :(  The recipe said 12-15 minutes so I tried 12 to begin with and it was still way too long.  The last batch I finally ended up at 8 minutes which seemed much closer but maybe still a little bit too long since the bottoms were pretty dark.  Not sure if I'm willing to serve the burnt ones, although they still taste allright if you don't mind hard crunchy cookies.
the world's messiest marathon
My final attempt was at something healthy, although ironically these date bars are the highest calorie of all my choices at about 180 calories a bar.  They're composed of 5 ingredients: dates, oats, almonds, salt, and coconut oil.  I still don't have a food processor although I did buy a new mini-rep to replace my old one and this one has a bigger container so I thought I would be able to handle this recipe.  I was wrong.  It was a major mess with lots of emptying and processing small batches and lots of cleanup afterwards.  I won't be attempting this recipe again with either a good game plan to break things up or a food processor.  I think it would be easy if you were properly equipped though.  I actually haven't tried these yet as they are currently firming up in my fridge, although I'm a little worried about how well they're going to hold together.
the world's messiest marathon
the world's messiest marathon
So what did I learn?  
  1. While I'm getting better at cooking, I'm still not really that interested in baking
  2. Don't attempt something without the proper equipment - somehow I have to keep relearning this one :)
  3. When asked to bake something, just make brownies (or at least something bar-based rather than cookies).  They're much much easier and honestly who's going to complain about brownies?

Now I am exhausted and need to go sleep!  Tomorrow is the first farmer's market of the year here!  I'm excited to check it out, which is part of the reason I did the marathon baking tonight (so I wouldn't have to deal with it tomorrow).

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